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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Since winter is almost here I am thinking about doing a top end job but got a few questions. My rear base gasket is leaking and the top rockers are leaking. Did a compression test and it reads 150 in back and 148 in front so the compression is good. The bike runs great beside the carb was the origional Kehinin butterfly and it was on it's last legs so I just got a new Super E for her.
I'm not sure if the top was ever done so my question is what am I instore for once I pull this down? I have done a few Jap motors in the past but never did a Harley motor.
I have done all the work so far on this bike and I am really not into getting a shop to do it since most shops around here don't like to work on the older bikes, and I would rather do it myself. I got the service manual and it seems easy enough just wanna hear from some other guys who have done it.
Bike is an 83 btw.
Thanks in advance..
 

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Its pretty easy and straightforward.

Two hard parts. When I say hard I just mean annoying and a pain in the ass. Not difficult

Dealing with getting the heads out, because of lack of space.
And adjusting pushrods when your done.

Other than that its pretty easy
You will probably need to get a place to hone and maybe bore out out the cylinders. I went to R & R cycle in Manchester.And I got them sand blasted. If you want. Take a look at my thread. Lots of pictures and shit.

I did it on a 73
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks man!! Yeah I know about the lack of space for the head and I've done pushrods in the past with no issues. Had to replace the tappet guides so got the pushrods down.
Thanks again for the input and I'll check out yer thread.
 

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not hard at all just did mine over i was lucky enough that i just needed a fresh hone and new rings
i blasted the jugs and heads and rockers while they were apart and gave them some fresh powdercoating
fairly simple job and if you just need hone rings and gaskets nit too costly

i also went ahead and did a fresh vapve job and a little head porting while i had everything apart
 

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Torquing the rear head bolts properly engine in the frame is a bit of a pain.
Yes, To accurately torque the base bolts, you need to purchase a dog bone. A traditional socket will not fit in the space provided with a ratchet wrench on top of it. The dogbone is a stubby box end wrench with a 3/8" drive square it in so you can use it with your torque wrench. Others just use a regular box end wrench and torque by feel, it's up to you.
 

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With that kind of compression, and just oil leaking, sounds like you will need a few gaskets, a set of new rings to match oversize, maybe a valve lap and a new set of guide seals, and a hone job. If you have a valve compressor, or can get one, you can do all of the work yourself, except the hone. And a 3 inch ball hone is about 50 bucks, and you will probably pay someone almost that much, to do it. So that is your call. Make sure, when you reinstall the heads, that you hard mount the intake to the heads, before you torque. Or you will end up with a possible leak at the "Y" intake. I usually just use the clamps with no rubbers. Make em match and tighten them up.
 

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i've heard/read a number of times that getting the heads off while in the frame can be a challenge...
i'm not disputing this, as i've never tried it. any time i've pulled apart my ironhead motors, i pull the motor out of the frame. i can have the motor from my '67 out and on the bench in 30 minutes. so much nicer working on the lump when it's on the bench.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the input!! I'll keep ya posted on this project as I get into it. Just a quick question, noticed last night that the previous owner removed the top and front motor mounts. The one that goes between the 2 top rockers that mounts to the frame and the one on the front rocker that mounts behind the oil cooler. I'm assuming due to the the tank with the petcock on the left side not the right and the front due to the 2 dyna coils. I've been running this bike hard for the last 3 years and haven't noticed an issue. Are these really needed or should I find some? Like I said been running it and have had no issues besides the leaks which is common on old bikes. I'm guessing they were removed to make room for the new tank and coils.
 

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"My rear base gasket is leaking and the top rockers are leaking."

"...previous owner removed the top and front motor mounts....I've been running this bike hard for the last 3 years and haven't noticed an issue."

Hmmm...

And no, they don't have to leak. Don't cop to that nonsense.
 

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Thanks for all the input!! I'll keep ya posted on this project as I get into it. Just a quick question, noticed last night that the previous owner removed the top and front motor mounts. The one that goes between the 2 top rockers that mounts to the frame and the one on the front rocker that mounts behind the oil cooler. I'm assuming due to the the tank with the petcock on the left side not the right and the front due to the 2 dyna coils. I've been running this bike hard for the last 3 years and haven't noticed an issue. Are these really needed or should I find some? Like I said been running it and have had no issues besides the leaks which is common on old bikes. I'm guessing they were removed to make room for the new tank and coils.
The top motor mounts, ARE needed. If you don't keep them mounted, you can tear out the rear mount, or break it or the motor cases. Seen it over and over. Not to mention, if you put it back on, mostly the center one, you will notice much less vibration. Could even be the cause of all or most of your leaks too. Your decision, but if it were mine, I would at least install the one between the cyls. This goes back to one of my long used sayings. 57 idiot theory. Explanation.....when you get a bike, that is over 20 years old, it has had every idiot on the block, try to fix or repair it. Causing top motor mounts to go missing. Form over function, causes more damage than a hammer ever could. Function over Form, is my end result. Nuff said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
"My rear base gasket is leaking and the top rockers are leaking."

"...previous owner removed the top and front motor mounts....I've been running this bike hard for the last 3 years and haven't noticed an issue."

Hmmm...
Thanks Dr. I knew this wasn't a good thing to see them gone, seeing that it doesn't look like the top has ever been done on this bike I was guessing it was due to old gaskets. I've seen some bikes done without these mounts but I'm assuming your response means they "need" to be there. lol Search is on I guess.
Again thanks for the input from everyone!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The top motor mounts, ARE needed. If you don't keep them mounted, you can tear out the rear mount, or break it or the motor cases. Seen it over and over. Not to mention, if you put it back on, mostly the center one, you will notice much less vibration. Could even be the cause of all or most of your leaks too. Your decision, but if it were mine, I would at least install the one between the cyls. This goes back to one of my long used sayings. 57 idiot theory. Explanation.....when you get a bike, that is over 20 years old, it has had every idiot on the block, try to fix or repair it. Causing top motor mounts to go missing. Form over function, causes more damage than a hammer ever could. Function over Form, is my end result. Nuff said.
True! I found the mounts I need and they are on the way. Hopefully no other damage was done by these missing. And you are correct in "that is over 20 years old, it has had every idiot on the block, try to fix or repair it." It has been a constant struggle to fix all of the "repairs" done to it. Some days I wonder if it's worth it.. lol
 

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Rocker Box Gaskets. I have fought those leaks over the years, especially with split rockers until I went with the metal style impregnated with a butly gasket. No sealer needed and you can use them over and over. James Gaskets p/n JGI-17536-70-X.

Head Gaskets. The .015" do like to leak oil. I started using Permatex copper coat and never had another one leak. You could use the newer style .040" but they lower the compression ratio somewhat
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So with the missing top mounts being gone since I bought the bike, and no telling how long they were gone previously. Anything I should be looking for now as far as damage? I looked at the rear mounts and they don't seem to be cracked from what I can see. Anything else I should be looking for or just pull the motor and have a better look?
Thanks again!!
 

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True! I found the mounts I need and they are on the way. Hopefully no other damage was done by these missing. And you are correct in "that is over 20 years old, it has had every idiot on the block, try to fix or repair it." It has been a constant struggle to fix all of the "repairs" done to it. Some days I wonder if it's worth it.. lol

It is.
 
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